Saturday January 11, 2014 was a big day for me, it was power testing day with Reactivated training to get a baseline of where I am at with the amount of power I produce while riding. This was done indoors on a trainer at Rapid City Cycle in St Catharines, Ontario, the rules are simple:
#1 No socializing with rider warming up on training or being tested as we need to keep the testing on track and riders focused on doing their best.
This is the only rule I broke as I am a social guy and like to talk for those who don’t know me.
The entire day leading up to my test at 1 pm was race focused, some call it getting in the zone,I watch the hockey players I work with do this before a game and at a race this is what sets riders apart from being top to being out for recreation. Race focus is a huge part of training and a big change I am still in the process of learning as I head into 2014 race season.
I arrive at Rapid City Cycle head phones, music going getting into the zone while warming up, I had asked a friend of mine to come take some images of me on the bike as I start 2014, so I won’t have to worry about setting it up or having Jenny my coach do the photos while she was trying to run the test at the same time. Things come up like paying gigs and I told the friend to take the paying gigs over this, so after the warm up is done get some water take the headphones off and jump back on the bike to start the test, Jenny knows that images are important to me and asked George the owner of Rapid City Cycle to take some images of me as I am doing the test which I am so grateful for.
Like I said I have been working on the race focus but when it comes to a creative mind it is a very very hard thing to focus sometimes, especially when it comes to the ideas of photos you have in your mind and what you would do and how you would shoot it etc, this time I had no control.
Started the test head down pretty focused head space just starting to find the pace that I will be able to keep up for 20 mins of hard riding 5 mins into the ride I find myself watching what George is doing the angles vertical horizontal shots, if you take it from this angle you will get the sign and some of the store in to help promote both Rapid City Cycle & Reactivated training! Why are you over there, come closer get the beads of sweat coming off my head, I am working my ass off here I want the money shot!!
These are all the thoughts going through my head, sort of paying attention to the test but not really, I am going at a great pace and then all of a sudden Jenny starts to coach me and say alright your RPMs are to high going to add some resistance which means harder to pedal she increases the resistance and the legs start to burn pace drops to about 70 RMP heart rate shoots up all of a sudden things get to the point that I had to clear my head of all the creative stuff and forget about what I can’t control. The only thing I could do to keep the bike from not stopping in the middle of the test was focus! Focus on using the Glutes and the rest of my legs to get the pedals going again get the lungs pushing the air to keep my body pushing so it my mind doesn’t break.
This was a very interesting moment in the test review you could tell around that time mark where the refocus came into effect, I didn’t realize this until going over the post test review with Jenny, this is also where a great coach comes in, mountain biking is a solo sport for the most part the only person that can keep you going is you and when it comes down to it, it is the person coaching you, the person you have listen to for the weeks, months or years telling you you body is stronger than your mind, ride through the burn, here comes the other riders they are right on your wheel now beside you, all of these things were said to me during my test and it is all reflected in my results of my power test.
I pushed through the last 3 mins of the test, nothing else matter other than the visuals that Jenny was motivating me with, the real race day verbal images that I now know is what I need to focus on and be in the moment before and during the race, some will think you are ignoring them or blowing them off it isn’t that it is the focus that helps you beat your goals you set and helps you to win that sets you apart from everyone else that is behind you.
What I have learned from all of this, I need to quiet my mind.
I am so glad I have Jenny of Reactivated Training & Racing helping me to not only build my physical part of riding but also the bigger part the mental ability of riding to make 2014 even better than 2013!